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About Cliff Kayser

Cliff is an experienced organization development (OD) consultant, executive coach, and leadership trainer overseeing Polarity Partnerships' east coast operations out of Washington, DC. In 2017, Cliff became a founding partner of the 501(c)3 organization the Institute for Polarities of Democracy and in 2018 the healthcare coaching/consulting firm, SixSEED Partners. Cliff is a faculty member at American University's Master's in OD and KEY Executive programs and is a Coaching Fellow for George Mason's Accredited Coach Training Program under the Center for the Advancement of Well-being. His past work experience includes VP of Organizational Development and Training for The National Cooperative Bank, Senior OD Consultant for The Washington Post, and Corporate Manager of Human Resources (HR) and Training for The Washington Post Company. Cliff earned Master's Degrees in OD (2007) and HR Management (1998) from The American University and his Coaching Certification from Georgetown's Executive Leadership Coaching Program in (2008). He is a PCC (Professional Certified Coach) and a graduate of the 2-year Polarity Mastery program (2010), and has served as the program dean since 2014.

Applicable excerpts from the book, “Both/And Leadership: Embracing Creative Tensions to Solve Your Toughest Problems”

By |2022-09-11T08:11:08-05:00September 11th, 2022|Both/And Polarity Leveraging, Polarity Thinking|

The rock stars of paradox research, Wendy Smith and Marianne Lewis, just released their book, “Both/And Leadership: Embracing Creative Tensions to Solve Your Toughest Problems” in which they say early-on: From page 11: We draw from Eastern philosophy, such as that set forth by Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching and from Western philosophy, [...]

Summary: “Think Again” by Adam Grant

By |2021-05-12T08:22:47-05:00May 12th, 2021|Polarity Thinking|

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant (2021) is a new addition to the growing body of mainstream books about mental blindspots, cognitive biases, and thinking errors. Every individual possesses cognitive tools and accumulated knowledge that they regularly rely upon. But we rarely question or consider this knowledge which includes [...]

Empowerment In a Difficult Time

By |2021-01-09T11:41:36-05:00January 9th, 2021|Both/And Polarity Leveraging, Polarity Thinking|

A friend asked me for Polarity Maps that might be helpful in this difficult time. I’m sharing several that are part of a chapter for the Volume 2 of “And” Making a Difference by Leveraging Polarity, Paradox or Dilemma (which hasn’t been published and the attached hasn’t been edited for publication, FYI). Technically, I shouldn’t [...]

Thoughts from Barry Johnson on how Polarity Thinking can save lives, strengthen the economy, and speed the national recovery

By |2020-06-04T13:01:24-05:00June 4th, 2020|Polarity Thinking|

In the following two articles, Barry Johnson discusses: Individual Freedom And The Common Good Both are essential in the fight against COVID-19 for our recovery and our future. AND how we can go about: Winning On Two Fronts – Health And Economy Polarity Thinking can save lives, strengthen the economy, and speed the national recovery. [...]

White People — Here You Go

By |2021-05-12T08:21:59-05:00June 4th, 2020|Polarity Thinking|

Diversity/Inclusion/Equity -- REFERENCES: Battalora, Jacqueline, Birth of a White Nation Singh, Anneliese, Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism, and Engage in Collective Healing THERE IS A WHOLE BOOK THIS IS JUST AN EXCERPT K. Kellogg Foundation, Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Implementation Guidebook, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, December 2016 [...]

A Check-in: Proactive AND Responsive

By |2020-12-28T04:37:22-05:00May 7th, 2020|Polarity Thinking|

It’s officially a pattern now that I'm inspired to create a blogpost after a meeting with my Undoing Racism friends/colleagues. After our last meeting, I posted “Masks – as PPE and Metaphor”, that included poetry (Paul Lawrence “We Wear the Mask”) and a video of Maya Angelou reciting the poem. Our  meeting last night involved a poem and a [...]

Hero and Host

By |2020-06-06T15:13:32-05:00April 30th, 2020|Polarity Thinking|

I have a client who shares (with pride) that he’s “Type A ADHD.” He’s also Harvard educated and former military. His energy level is super-high. After our coaching sessions I feel like working-out and breaking all my previous personal records. Yesterday he said, “COVID has kicked in the #@$&*^ door for new possibilities.”  Actually, that’s [...]

Polarity/Paradox Lessons from Adm. Stockdale

By |2020-04-08T08:55:38-05:00April 8th, 2020|Polarity Thinking|

“The safest place in a bad storm is the hard truth”. Admiral Stockdale Stockdale's Paradox/Polarity of Reality and Faith is wisdom for our times. Hopefully, the piece below taken from Good-to-Great (plus some additional resources is useful for you. COLLINS: I asked, “Who didn’t make it out?” STOCKDALE: “Oh, that’s easy, the optimists.” COLLINS: “The [...]

Masks — As PPE and Metaphor

By |2020-05-07T18:58:22-05:00April 3rd, 2020|Polarity Thinking|

"Mask" is a metaphor that's familiar to an "Undoing Racism" group I've been meeting with going on 4 years now. We have a good time together, but our work isn't always fun or easy. Becoming aware of our individual and collective masks requires creating a trusting space for courage and vulnerability. From that container emerges learning, healing, and growth -- [...]

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